Yearling Sales Prep Schedule
February and March
Radiographs should be taken on all yearlings to determine if any surgery needs to be preformed and/or any treatment is required for degenerative joint diseases. Knees should be monitored for angular limb deformities, given that such deformities can be corrected with surgery. Endoscopic evaluations are preformed at this time.
Twelve Weeks Prior to Sale
A regimen of walking/lunging or use of a European exerciser three days per week begins twelve weeks prior to the sale for those yearlings that are weak behind, immature, etc. To begin, horses are hand walked 15 minutes per day, eventually increasing to 30 minutes per day. Frequently, a person is required to walk behind the yearlings in the early stages of exercise to keep them walking at a good pace. The yearlings on a lunging regimen generally begin lunging 7 minutes a day and work up to 12-15 minutes. Daily grooming of all yearlings also begins twelve weeks prior to the sale.
Ten Weeks Prior to Sale
Ten weeks prior to the sale, the gradual addition of 4 oz of corn oil in the morning feed, along with 4-6 oz of cooked flaxseed in the evening feed, is introduced to the feeding schedule of yearlings. This is done to ensure that the yearlings are on a full feed program by the time they begin a full sale prep schedule.
Eight Weeks Prior to Sale
A full sale prep schedule begins eight weeks prior to the sale. By this time yearlings are on a full feed program and daily exercise schedule. Twice daily grooming also becomes a part of the yearlings’ daily schedule at this time—standard grooming in the morning, with supplementary grooming using a curry comb added in the afternoon. Colts are placed in separate paddocks at this time, as they will be more difficult to handle if they are allowed to remain in groups. If any yearlings, particularly fillies, start to become “round” (gain excess weight in their midsection), they are often turned out with a muzzle.
At this time yearlings are scoped again to see if there is any pharyngitis, inflammation or conditions that can benefit with treatment.
Four Weeks Prior to Sale
Yearlings are taught how to show four weeks prior to selling. This involves making them walk down and back and “stand up,” to simulate what they will need to do at the sale.
Three Days Prior to Shipping
The blacksmith will shoe yearlings three days prior to shipping to the sale grounds. Ears and bridle paths are also clipped at this time. Manes are not pulled until the yearlings get to the sale grounds, so that the entire consignments manes will be the same length.